Characteristics of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Their Involvement in International New Ventures

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Abstract

We studied 561 young firms in Australia to understand the involvement of immigrant entrepreneurs (IEs) in international new ventures (INVs). We found that IEs are overrepresented in INVs and have many characteristics known to facilitate INV success, including more founders, university degrees, international connections, and technical capability. Our study has implications for immigration policy and economic policy and the efficient use of a nation's human capital. This research challenges a necessity-based stereotype of immigrant entrepreneurs by identifying areas in which immigrant entrepreneurs have natural competitive advantages over native entrepreneurs (NEs). This research makes a contribution to the theory of immigrant entrepreneurship by identifying the significant role of immigrant entrepreneurs in INVs and the suitability of immigrant entrepreneurs for the development of INVs. We inform diverse streams of research in transnational and immigrant entrepreneurship with broader strategic work on the creation of INVs. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

This research was partly funded by an Australian Academy of Social Sciences research grant. A previous version of this paper was presented at Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC), 2011, Syracuse.

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